Building Callouses

My Sweetie’s Blond

As long as I’ve known my Sweetie he’s played the guitar. Not so much in recent years between life and the moves. I’ve longed to learn to play and thought, “oh one day I’ll do it.” When he asked what I wanted to do over the weekend -this was it. We started our day watching several beginner videos including how to change the strings and tune the guitar. After a bit of a tidy up, strings change, broken strings while someone (me) was trying to string then tune. A trip to the guitar store on the square resulted in strings, a guitar strap just for me, and a new book for me to practice with. If you’ve know me for any length of time practice is part of the lexicon of being and becoming a quilter, specifically the skill of free-motion quilting. The recommendation is to practice for an hour. Part of me desires to say oof, I get it though. Practice is an important part of learning anything. Part of developing this skill is developing callouses. Until they develop pressing the strings is a bit challenging and a bit painful. And in case you’re wondering…yes I am in my mid-fifties learning a new creative skill. And in case you’re wondering it does make typing a bit of a challenge sometimes if I tap the keys with just the right amount of pressure.

Did you ever have a week, month, year, period of time, moment where none of the words come out with what you actually mean?

You might notice here that the image is actually upside down. This is because the quilt, a fat quarter of dupioni silk, is in the process of being quilted and the only way to get the correct orientation of the quilt itself was to turn the image upside down. Friends, for the first time in ages I’m quilting. I expected to be quilting something else and that is still on the ironing surface, all prepped and ready to go. This quilt is asking for the moon to be quilted in shades of red, orange, and purple like the eclipse several months ago. The trees are being left open and the space “behind” will be quilted. I have three pieces of dupioni, we’ll see what happens.


With fingers on the keyboard at the ready to respond to the words that are swirling around in my head seeking the order of both importance and necessity.

Recently a friend called to let me know that this creative writing project buoyed her up in a bit of a hard moment for her. Her excitement and joy in this moment actually buoyed me up and got me out of a bit of a tempest whirling at breakneck speed in my head. In the voice of Brown Envelope I shared with her the traveling adventures of Brown. Brownwyn, Brown’s identical twin, has now joined me as the SMC (Social Media Creative) at TerifiCreations. Brownwyn is eager to take on this role as SMC and brings with her a quirky sense of humor, a keen eye for fabulous quilting and an adventurous spirit.

Plateaus are fabulous places that give one a sense of security and a bit of a glorious view. Plateaus in faith and in care for ones physical person are glorious or frustrating. For me this is utterly frustrating, and combined with this understanding that the tempest was not only coming but would be painfully terrible wasn’t helping. The disciples in the boat with Jesus, oof I get the panicking, the fear, the crying out to Jesus to save us. This tempest was different, as brutal as it was, I knew I needed to ride it out, it would end and on the other side there is calm, peace. As part of the clarity from this particular storm there are a couple of thing that need some specific attention. And it’s still swirling…a bit.


Practice offers me the reminder that messiness is part and parcel of being. I am a practicing human.






with gifts and flaws and sometimes these are hidden treasures and out there for all to see and behold.

Lent begins this week I seek your prayers through this journey. I am praying for and with you. May you ever find yourself closer to Jesus.


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